ARTS & CULTURE

Author David Hyde Costello with the clay models he referenced while illustrating his book "Little Pig Saves The Ship."
Carrie Healy / NEPR

"Little Pig Saves the Ship" is the next pick in our annual back-to-school book series.

Northampton, Mass., author Lisa Papademetriou.
Ellen Augarten

Callie is a seventh-grade grader in New York who spends a week cutting school, visiting museums and uncovering family secrets about the death of her gay uncle.

She's the main character in "Apartment 1986," a new young adult novel by Northampton, Massachusetts, writer Lisa Papademtriou.

To kick off this year's back-to-school book series, we sat down with Papademtriou. She started by reading from the book's first section, when we meet the exuberant narrator.

Marathons That Don't Require Sneakers

Aug 2, 2017
Mount Greylock from Herman Melville's study.
Courtesy of Martha Ackmann

Friends tell commentator Martha Ackmann that she has odd pastimes. One of them is participating in literary marathons. That's when great literary works are read out-loud communally all the way through --from first line to last -- and sometimes around-the-clock.

The Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst hosts a marathon reading of her 1,789 poems. I especially like taking the night shift. There’s something deliciously eerie about being in the poet’s house after-hours, sitting with a clutch of other enthusiasts, and reciting poems written over 150 years ago. 

Judge Michael Ponsor, holding his first novel, "The Hanging Judge," which was published in 2013.
File photo / The Republican

When Springfield federal Judge Michael Ponsor semi-retired after three decades on the bench, he started to enjoy two privileges of part time work: He could choose the type of cases he wanted, and he had a lot more time for his other professional passion, fiction writing.

For Shakespeare & Co., 40 Years Of Passion, 'Mistakes'

Jul 19, 2017
Bella Merlin and Deaon Griffin-Pressley, in  the production of Cymbeline.
Stratton McCrady / Shakespeare & Co.

With summer in full swing, one of the nation’s largest Shakespeare festivals is celebrating a big anniversary this year. And over its four decades in Lenox, Massachusetts, Shakespeare & Company has seen its share of dramatics, both on- and off-stage.

A scene from rehearsals of The Scarlet Professor opera.
Daniel Keller

In 1960, a famous literature professor at Smith College was arrested for having gay pornographic materials in his Northampton, Massachusetts, apartment. Four decades later, that scandal was the basis of a nonfiction book. Now the story is getting a new telling -- an operatic one -- on the very college campus where the original events took place.


NENC
DOUG BISHOP / GREATER BURLINGTON (VT) YMCA

For many Vermonters, swimming is learned early and central to summer fun. But for children who are new to the United States and still learning English, swimming can be a completely foreign concept.

Mike Kelly, head of archives and special collections at Amherst College, reads from the Melville Dewey archive.
Carrie Healy / NEPR

Summer begins next week, and so we'll be kicking off our Summer Fiction series. That's when New England Public Radio reporters interview local authors -- some of which have written so many books they can't remember how many.

Lou Cove and Howie Gordon, together in 1979.
Courtesy / Lou Cove

In 1979, 12-year old Lou Cove had just moved to Salem, Massachusetts -- his family's eighth home in a decade -- when an eccentric family friend named Howie came to live with them.

At New Museum, Dr. Seuss Himself Would Feel 'At Ease'

Jun 2, 2017
The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss opened June 3, 2017.
Springfield Museums / via MassLive

He's not a real doctor. His friends and family called him Ted. Since his death in 1991, Theodor Seuss Geisel has become the best-selling author of children's books in the world.

Now the city of Springfield, Massachusetts, pays homage to its favorite native son with the first-of-its-kind Seuss Museum.

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